20 Pages Posted: 3 May 2015 Last revised: 9 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 8, 2015
What are the fundamental research questions in Information Systems? How do various research topics relate with one another to form the IS research landscape and how do they evolve over time? This study is an initial attempt to answer these questions using topic models to investigate the research topics examined by the three top IS journals (ISR, JMIS and MISQ) in the period of 1977-2014. We present an IS Topic Graph that contains 33 research areas, 31 of which are closely connected with one another. Further analyses of this graph reveal how different IS research areas (behavioral science, design science, economics, and organizational science) are intertwined to the extent that they are almost inseparable. Looking into IS research at a finer level, we identify 300 research topics, and a chronological analysis of these topics reveals a trend of topic diversification and externalization. To guide future research, an intelligent literature search tool called ISTopic is built and is available for public access.
Keywords: IS research, IS discipline, research agenda, correlated topic model, latent dirichlet allocation, topic modeling, ISTopic
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Chen, Hailiang and Zhao, J. Leon, ISTopic: Understanding Information Systems Research through Topic Models (September 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2601719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2601719